Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef

Perched on the tropical North-East coast of Australia, Cairns is bursting with culture, wildlife, and world-renowned natural beauty spots.
The city boasts not one, but two World Heritage-listed areas; the Great Barrier Reef, and the world's oldest tropical rainforest. The city itself dates back to 1876, and has grown rapidly from its origins as a small sugarcane exporting town to the buzzing, lively city that it is now.
Cairns provides the closest access to the Great Barrier Reef, the largest reef on Earth. If you want to dive into warm waters and explore a kaleidoscopic underwater world, then Cairns is the perfect destination.

If you are looking for a more relaxed Cairns holiday, which still includes the option to snorkel over the reef or admire the ancient rainforest, then the secluded haven of Port Douglas is a perfect destination. Fronted by the golden sands of Four Mile Beach, and enclosed by an emerald cluster of tropical greenery covered mountains, Port Douglas is the ultimate Australian escape.


Recommended holidays

Contact us to tailor make your holiday

Our experts have hand-picked a small selection of luxury properties to help inspire your next holiday. However, we have many more available and can tailor make a personal itinerary to ensure your next worldwide holiday is exactly as you want it to be.
Call us today on 0800 412 5292 or contact us online
Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef facts at a glance
Flight time:
22 hours
Time difference:
10 hours
Currency:
Australian dollar
Flying from
Birmingham, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle

Best time to go

Due to Cairns' tropical climate, it naturally has a monsoon season. To avoid the heavy rainfall, visits are best planned between June and October.
Although this is Australia's winter, daytime temperatures still average in the high twenties, so no need to worry; you can definitely leave your thermals at home.

Things to do

Between the tropical rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian outback, and the city itself, would-be adventurers will never find themselves bored of exploring Cairns.
The range of activities available on the Reef alone is almost endless, from boat trips to explore coral islands and cays, to whale watching, to exhilarating helicopter rides to see the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef from above, to guided scuba-diving on the opulent reef - allowing you to get up close and personal with the 1500 species of fish that live there.
On lazier, languid, beach days, make sure to visit Cairns' esplanade. In this hotspot you will find not only a beautiful swimming lagoon, but barbecue areas, a range of sporting pitches and parks, and daily free exercise and yoga classes in and around the lagoon.

Food and drink

Cairns has a wealth of restaurants, cafes and bistros, which together provide an unmissable opportunity to experience a globe of cuisine in one city.
Cairns' specialities lie in fresh seafood and Asian cuisine; for an exquisite taste of both, try Cherry Blossom Japanese Restaurant, which has been serving fresh seafood and sushi to locals and tourists alike since 1987.
To drink, try a smooth, creamy flat white in one of Cairns' many esteemed coffee houses, or drop into the Blue Mango Cafe Wine Bar for a delicious cocktail accompanied by smooth live jazz.

In the evening

Other than its twelve cinemas and two theatres, Cairns has a full range of nightlife options for everyone. Watch movies and sip cocktails from the pool in Gilligan's on Grafton street, or party the night away at any of the bars and clubs on Spence street.
For something different and spectacular, take a Cairns Harbour sunset cruise, or enjoy an intimate candlelit dinner that you will never forget in the breath taking setting of the rainforest.

Health and entry requirements

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel insurance and vaccinations and / or special medication for your destination. Please consult your GP for advice at least one month ahead of travel. It is essential that you meet the visa and passport requirements for your chosen destination. Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (http://www.fco.gov.uk) website for up to date entry requirements listed by country.


-16.9236, 145.77, 5, true
Talk to a faraway specialist
Request a callback
Make a holiday enquiry
Request or download a brochure
Talk to a Hays Faraway expert today on
Faraway Specialists
Our specialist Faraway consultants offer a truly personal service, combined with a real passion for long haul travel. Whether you're planning a relaxing beach break, a tailor-made adventure or the perfect honeymoon, they'll be happy to make it a reality.
Open 7 days a week
Monday - Friday: 9am - 9pm
Saturday: 9am - 8pm
Sunday: 10am - 8pm
Our specialist Faraway consultants offer a truly personal service, combined with a real passion for long haul travel. Their knowledge, along with the excellent relationships that we have with all leading airlines and the world's top hotels, ensures that when you request a quote from us, you'll receive genuine advice and fantastic value for money.

Simply complete the below form and one of our team will be in touch.

* Denotes the fields that are mandatory. However, the more information you can provide, the better we will be able to help meet your requirements.
Whether you're looking to enquire or book your next long haul holiday, our dedicated team of specialist Faraway Consultants will help you find the perfect holiday.

With a wealth of long haul holiday planning experience and extensive knowledge of worldwide destinations, our team will ensure that your requirements are met and your expectations exceeded.

If you'd like one of our Faraway Consultants to call you back, just fill out the form below and one of our specialists will give you a call.
Complete the form below to receive your Hays Faraway brochure, or click the links to download a PDF version.

Fields marked with a * are mandatory

Select your brochures *

Would you prefer to download the brochure now?
Click here > Online Brochure
Would you prefer to download the brochure now?
Click here > Online Brochure
Would you prefer to download the brochure now?
Click here > Online Brochure
Would you prefer to download the brochure now?
Click here > Online Brochure
Would you prefer to download the brochure now?
Click here > Online brochure
Would you prefer to download the brochure now?
Click here > Online brochure
Would you prefer to download the brochure now?
Click here > Online brochure
Would you prefer to download the brochure now?
Click here > Online brochure